Grace Millane's family reveals heartbreak after her father David's death

The family of murdered British backpacker Grace Millane have revealed they are heartbroken after Grace's father David died earlier this week.

David was diagnosed with cancer in 2019 after attending the trial of his daughter's killer in Auckland. 

Over the last year it spread, and David lost his battle earlier this week.

On Friday, the Millane family shared a message to the Love Grace X Facebook page, which collects handbags full of necessities and luxury items for domestic abuse charities in honour of Grace.

"Looking back on all of our memories together can be difficult," the message said.

"But the hardest ones are the new ones without you that just push us over the edge.

"Thank you for all your messages of condolence. We are heartbroken by the loss of David and he will be dearly missed.

"As you understand, now is a time for family. So we apologise if we don't respond to your message straight away."

David is survived by his wife Gillian and sons Declan and Michael and their families.

Grace went missing nearly two years ago, in December 2018, while in Auckland on her overseas experience. The 22-year-old's disappearance sparked a police investigation which gripped New Zealand and shocked the world.

Her body was found in a bush in the Waitākere Ranges a week after she was last seen at a central Auckland hotel.

A 27-year-old man - who had been seen on CCTV footage entering an Auckland hotel with Millane -  was charged with her murder.

The man, who has name suppression, was found guilty in November 2019 and sentenced to life in prison with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years. He is appealing the conviction.